Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that Prudential California Realty may end up representing both the buyer and seller when unrepresented buyers submit offers on listings represented by the brokerage. When unrepresented buyers submit offers on properties represented by other brokers, Prudential California Realty would have an opportunity to represent only the buyer.   

Prudential California Realty says it’s the first brokerage in Northern California to allow prospective homebuyers to submit offers online on any for-sale property featured on the company’s website — even if the brokerage does not represent the listing, and even if the buyer is not represented by an agent.

San Ramon-based Prudential California Realty has partnered with RealtyBid International to provide its online "Make an Offer" process, which allows ratified offers to be submitted from any one of the brokerage’s website’s property details pages.

Consumers can search through thousands of homes for sale in the Bay Area and Sacramento, all of which have a "Make an Offer" option. Once clicked, they are guided through a three-step bid verification process, and then digitally sign the offer online.

If the prospective buyer is already represented by an agent, and the home is a Prudential California Realty listing, the process moves forward as it would on any offer.

If a buyer submitting an offer is not represented by an agent, they complete a form and are matched to a Prudential California Realty agent other than the listing agent, a spokeswoman for the company said.

In those situations, if the buyer closes on a listing represented by Prudential California Realty, the brokerage will be representing both the buyer and the seller. But the buyer and seller will be represented by separate agents.

"The only situation where it doesn’t work is if the buyer is represented by a buyer’s agent (with another brokerage) and it is not a Prudential California Realty listing," the spokeswoman said. "Prudential California Realty obviously is not going to ‘broker’ deals between other broker’s agents and other broker’s listings."

Prudential California Realty is the first RealtyBid brokerage client to get up and running with online offers, "but we already have interest from several other brokerage firms and look to implement the system with a number of additional clients before the end of the year," said RealtyBid Marketing Director Daphne Shannon.

RealtyBid is a CoreLogic business that specializes in the expedited sale of real estate through its online auction platform, RealtyBid.com.

Prudential California Realty President Gretchen Pearson said in a statement that she believes online bids "will soon become the industry standard for making offers, and that others will fall in lockstep, as it is in line with consumer demand, saves time and makes it easier for everyone in the process."

Pearson founded the brokerage in 2005 under the name Windermere Welcome Home, and has doubled the company’s size since affiliating with Prudential Real Estate in September 2010.

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